Oh dear, here they come. You knew it was going to happen eventually. At least, if you had any sense you did.

You knew Alex Rodriguez was going to get hot again. You knew Bobby Abreu (whom we began referring to as "Robert Ahbrew" at my bachelor party Yankee game) wasn't going to hit .230 all year. You knew their pitching would start to get healthy. You knew Johnny Damon would begin to recover from his ailments. You knew they'd eventually get a run of games against bad teams. And it's all happened.

Less than two weeks ago, the Yankees trailed the Red Sox in the division by 13 1/2 games. Ten games later, they trail by 9 1/2 games. And the Wild Card? The Yankees are only 5 1/2 behind the Tigers for that. I know, I know, it's way too early to celebrate, and I don't want to be lumped into that (well-deserved) idiot-labeled front-runner fan base of Yankee fans who come back out of the woodwork after a few wins. Those who know me know that's not the case here.

No, I'm just pleased with myself for not having been like certain other fans who throw in the towel on their team as early as possible. Yankee "fans" everywhere, along with sports radio, were talking about how this team sucks and how they need to fire Torre (with many saying to replace him with Mattingly, which would be a HUGE mistake -- more on this in another post one day), etc.

People always knocked the Yankees for not being a team and standing up for one another, and then Scott Proctor throws a few beanballs and actually gets suspended backing up his teammates... and then you hear rumblings about how that's a stupid thing to do.

Alex Rodriguez, criticized for not being the "winner" that Derek Jeter is, is off to a monster year, yet he cannot ever seem to do the right things. He spooks a rookie third baseman in Toronto into dropping a pop-up and everyone sides with... the rookie? Give me a break. A-Rod slides hard into Dustin Pedroia trying to break up a double play and he's called a cheap artist for that. A week later, Mike Lowell lowers his shoulder into Robinson Cano as Cano is applying a tag on Lowell in the baseline and it absolutely levels Cano to the ground. Cano still made the tag-out and got the man at first base and did it all without glaring at Lowell or saying something about Lowell being "bush league" to the press. You know, the way Curt Schilling or Jason Varitek would if the situation was reversed or (especially) if it had been A-Rod on the basepaths.

But it hasn't mattered. The Yankees stayed afloat while playing poor baseball and now have put together a good run where they've won six straight and have a chance to really put some more wins together.

When the Mets were winning early this season, I had many Mets fans all over me b/c I still wear my Yanks cap to softball games and whatnot. And when they were celebrating the Yankees demise in early May, I really was surprised. But I shouldn't be. People are always ready to celebrate the Yankees demise. And so be it. There always needs to be an evil empire to root against.... I get that.

Speaking of celebrating in May, it still amazes me how many Red Sox fans do it, too. But perhaps they're also trying to convince themselves that the Yankees are buried when, really, that's far from the case. And how much will it hurt to blow as big a lead as the Sox had? I don't know, but we might find out. What with more than three and a half months of baseball left.

One more Red Sox-related nugget: A certain friend of the Boiled Sports staff (we'll call him a "friend of the show") whose name may or may not rhyme with "Shark Burley" was sending me text messages one night when the Yanks and Sox were playing. As the Yanks applied a whipping, I commented on the Sox possibly blowing their division lead, more to wrankle him than anything. I realize that's a long shot, but hey, it's fun to mess with Sox fans. And his response?

"Ha if the sox blow this lead i will kill a random hooker"

So if any hookers go missing and it coincides with the Yankees overtaking the Red Sox... well, you heard it here first.

Did Anything Count Back Then, Really?

Can you hold? I got a guy on the other line who wants to buy some whitewalls...